Don Noon

Don Noon's bench

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Yay, I got it done enough to enter into VMAAI this year.  Just one fiddle to enter... my productivity seems to be declining.

I am more than satisfied with the sound; it's very close to what I want to achieve in sound, and it's my most even-playing one to date.  But I'm biased, so we'll see what the VMAAI tone judges/players think.*

The photo is crappy; it doesn't really look like that, but it's a lot better than the photo I took in the sun, which came out blazing fluorescent orange.  Violins are such a pain to photograph well.  I'll try again later.

 

*Edit:  Interesting to read what I thought about the sound, and what I think about it now, after VMAAI.  As usual, any new instrument I finish will get me to play it, and when I play an instrument, my ears/brain get used to it, an then it sounds great.  While my current evaluation is that it does play very evenly, and the tone is good, the balance is off... too much power in the low frequencies, with the attendant issue of low bow resistance (not a big problem for me, as a fiddler, though).  Interestingly, when bowed, the CBR produces more power than any other signature mode, yet the impact spectrum shows almost nothing at the CBR frequency.  Diagnosis:  not enough stiffness in the back plate.  Maybe.

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Awesome job Don, and Beautifully done. the color I like on a violin too. I hope you do well at VMAAI. 

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11 hours ago, FoxMitchell said:

Got a recording of its sound for us to hear?  :)

And what's that on the bridge?

No recording as yet.  I'll wait until it gets into the hands of someone who can really play (I'm at the point of trying to limit the crappy recordings of my violins on the internet).

9 hours ago, lpr5184 said:

My guess it's tape to hide his brand.

Yep.

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6 hours ago, Don Noon said:

No recording as yet.  I'll wait until it gets into the hands of someone who can really play (I'm at the point of trying to limit the crappy recordings of my violins on the internet).

Yep.

...why the hiding?

Don't we all know already whose violin it is and all that?  ;)

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It is a requirement for violinmaking competitions to have any identifying brands or labels covered.

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1 hour ago, Don Noon said:

It is a requirement for violinmaking competitions to have any identifying brands or labels covered.

oOoh! Thank you for enlightening me.  :)

And good luck on the competition!

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VMAAI was enjoyable as usual, but no winnings for me this year.  My violin, under the test conditions, sounded more bottom-heavy than I would want for a high-level violinist.  However, it was great to see my local friend Tony Rizzo, at 90 years old, win the top tone award for the first time.  He was the guy I visited 10 years ago for help getting started with making violins,  and he has been taking some of my tone advise... all too well, apparently.

The weather here has entered the fall alternating pattern of cool/moist and hot/dry.  This morning my shop registered 22% RH at 7AM, then 49% at 10AM.  I was somewhat worried that the big honkin' flitches of wood in my garage might want to split in these conditions, moreso than if they were resawn into thin wedges, so I spent a full week (and not at my usual leisurely pace) getting all the wood sawn up.  At my usual making pace, the spruce stockpile should last until I'm about 105.  I continue to hope I can speed up.  The photo is only what I cut up recently; I have more spruce on another rack.  There's about 50 pounds of block material in the boxes, from the offcuts, and a bunch of bass bar material elsewhere.

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6 hours ago, Don Noon said:

VMAAI was enjoyable as usual, but no winnings for me this year.  My violin, under the test conditions, sounded more bottom-heavy than I would want for a high-level violinist.  However, it was great to see my local friend Tony Rizzo, at 90 years old, win the top tone award for the first time.  He was the guy I visited 10 years ago for help getting started with making violins,  and he has been taking some of my tone advise... all too well, apparently.

The weather here has entered the fall alternating pattern of cool/moist and hot/dry.  This morning my shop registered 22% RH at 7AM, then 49% at 10AM.  I was somewhat worried that the big honkin' flitches of wood in my garage might want to split in these conditions, moreso than if they were resawn into thin wedges, so I spent a full week (and not at my usual leisurely pace) getting all the wood sawn up.  At my usual making pace, the spruce stockpile should last until I'm about 105.  I continue to hope I can speed up.  The photo is only what I cut up recently; I have more spruce on another rack.  There's about 50 pounds of block material in the boxes, from the offcuts, and a bunch of bass bar material elsewhere.

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Nice stockpile!  :)

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Even with using the same log, there are significant variations... but less than the variations in just getting unsorted wood from a supplier.  My low-density log varies from .36 to .39, and the high-density log ranges within .40 - .44.  After processing, the densities will be lower, and I expect the range will tighten up slightly.

Getting a good, consistent set of spruce was definitely a big factor in deciding on a bulk buy, but other factors entered as well.  I could cut exactly how I wanted, making sure there was minimal runout or off-quarter (I could have gotten more sets out of the flitches if I allowed more off-quarter, but didn't want that). Even from reputable suppliers, I have gotten some wood with harlequin-producing runout and off-quarter.  Trying to buy good spruce at conventions has been spotty, and visiting suppliers would be more time and effort than I like.  And there's the cost benefit of a bulk buy.

Consistent wood might still not give consistent results, for a number of reasons, but at least it might reduce one of the variables a bit.

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I was checking up on one of my instrument owners, and found a video from a few months ago.  It's with my most recent 15 3/4" (40cm) viola, intended as a soloist instrument.

 

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1 hour ago, Don Noon said:

It's the viola in this post.

Thanks Don, Excellent workmanship, I'll most never reach that quality LOL, I'm lucky to just glue them together. number 2 , it looks like a fiddle.

 

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Just another video of the phenomenal Annelle Gregory, making my violin sound good.  My reason for making instruments (certainly not for the money).

 

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Excellent Don, Amazing sounds, great player too. Is that one made with the torified wood? Do you sell your information of what you did while you made and tested?

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I'm only using torrified wood now, and all the build data was in this thread some time ago (the Guarneri-ish model) posted here.  Also VMAAI made me write an article about it in their journal.

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42 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

I'm only using torrified wood now, and all the build data was in this thread some time ago (the Guarneri-ish model) posted here.  Also VMAAI made me write an article about it in their journal.

Amazing work Don, all the hard work payed off. and thanks for point to the violin. Your work and testing and much ifo you give is a valuable asset to us! Thanks a Million.

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5 hours ago, Don Noon said:

Just another video of the phenomenal Annelle Gregory, making my violin sound good.  My reason for making instruments (certainly not for the money).

 

Don, could you find out which violin she's playing here :

 

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